Meibomian Gland Expression

Expression of the glands along the lid margin can be beneficial if they are clogged. Make-up, aging, computer use, and contact lenses can cause the glands to not function efficiently, and chronic ocular irritation can cause gland scarring. Once the glands are lost, we cannot bring them back so we have to take care of them.

During evaluation, Dr. Swartz will gently push on the glands to see if they express meibum, the substance that is meant to keep your eyes healthy. Healthy meibum is a clear, molasses-like oil. When the glands get sick begin to fail, they meibum thickens and turns white. It may clog the gland, and they gland may shorten, stop functioning and scar.

Expression of the glands can help the glands to make better meibum, which helps dry eye. Hot compresses help maintain the gland in between expressions.